19/01/2014 Sunday Politics Northern Ireland


19/01/2014

Andrew Neil and Mark Carruthers with the latest political news, interviews and debate. Guests include chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 19/01/2014. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Morning, folks. Welcome to the Sunday Politics. Nick Clegg says

:00:37.:00:44.

Chris Rennard must apologise. "What for?", say his friends. We'll ask

:00:45.:00:49.

senior Lib Dem minister Danny Alexander whose side he's on.

:00:50.:00:54.

What about the voters? What do they make of the Lib Dems? We hear the

:00:55.:00:58.

views of a Sunday Politics focus group.

:00:59.:01:09.

Coming up here, the fall-out from group. A

:01:10.:01:14.

Coming up here, the fall-out from the latest row between Sinn Fein and

:01:15.:01:18.

the DUP. We'll hear live from the leaders of SDLP, the Ulster

:01:19.:01:21.

Unionists and Alliance. Join me in half an hour.

:01:22.:01:23.

plunge from the highboard from who else but the Minister for

:01:24.:01:25.

Portsmouth. And with me, as always, the best and

:01:26.:01:28.

the brightest political panel in the business: and in London, Boris

:01:29.:01:33.

Johnson has pledged to recruit more volunteers. Nick Watt, Helen Lewis

:01:34.:01:36.

and Janan Ganesh, who'll be tweeting throughout the programme.

:01:37.:01:48.

First this morning, Nick Clegg is considering a fresh investigation

:01:49.:01:50.

into the behaviour of the party's former chief executive, Lord

:01:51.:01:59.

Rennard. Last week, a lawyer appointed by the party decided that

:02:00.:02:02.

no action could be taken against him, but that women who had accused

:02:03.:02:05.

the Lib Dem peer of inappropriate behaviour "were broadly credible".

:02:06.:02:08.

More than 100 party activists are demanding an apology. Chris Rennard

:02:09.:02:18.

say he's nothing to apologise for and the party whip must be returned

:02:19.:02:22.

to him. Helen, this is not going away. It is turning into a crisis

:02:23.:02:27.

for the Lib Dems? They have only got seven female MPs. There is no female

:02:28.:02:35.

Cabinet Minister. There is a reasonable chance that after the

:02:36.:02:39.

next election there might in no female Liberal Democrat MPs at all.

:02:40.:02:42.

A scandal like this will not encourage women into the party. Have

:02:43.:02:49.

they made a complete mess of it? You feel for Nick Clegg, because he

:02:50.:02:51.

launched an utterly rigorous process. He called in a QC. The QC

:02:52.:02:58.

looked at it and decided that the evidence did not meet the burden of

:02:59.:03:04.

proof in a criminal trial. But clearly he felt that the evidence

:03:05.:03:07.

from these women was very credible and serious. He said it was broadly

:03:08.:03:16.

credible. Clearly it was serious. Rennard is being advised by Lord

:03:17.:03:20.

Carlisle, fellow Liberal Democrat peer, who is giving purely legal

:03:21.:03:24.

advice. He is saying it has not reached that edge-mac, so do not

:03:25.:03:30.

apologise. This is a political issue, so the agony continues. Nick

:03:31.:03:35.

Clegg was hoping to keep the party whip withdrawn. But they did not

:03:36.:03:40.

launch an enquiry, the Webster enquired it was not an enquiry, it

:03:41.:03:46.

was a legal opinion. You're right, it was an internal opinion. The Lib

:03:47.:03:52.

Dems distinguished themselves from the other two parties not with

:03:53.:03:57.

policy, but with ethics. They presented themselves as being

:03:58.:04:00.

cleaner, and in possession of more Robert Jay than Labour and the

:04:01.:04:03.

Conservatives. That will be harder to do now. -- more probity. There

:04:04.:04:18.

are a Lib Dem peers that are more relaxed about taking him back and

:04:19.:04:22.

letting him pick up the party whip. That is the problem. There is a

:04:23.:04:28.

generational issue. The older Lib Dems in the House of Lords, the kind

:04:29.:04:32.

of thing, he did not do anything that wrong. The younger activists

:04:33.:04:36.

and those outside the House of Lords, they think it is a pollen.

:04:37.:04:42.

Yes, there is definitely a sort of what you are complaining about sort

:04:43.:04:47.

of thing. That is symptomatic of a cultural difference. The report last

:04:48.:04:54.

year found that they tried to manage the allegations. They did not do

:04:55.:04:58.

what any company would do if there was an allegation of sexual

:04:59.:05:02.

harassment. If there had not in the by-election in Eastleigh, this story

:05:03.:05:08.

may not have got the attention it did. Channel four news are the one

:05:09.:05:13.

that really drove this. Without their reporting, this might not have

:05:14.:05:17.

come out. It is not going to go away, because the issue of whether

:05:18.:05:20.

he gets the party whip back will come week. -- will come up this

:05:21.:05:30.

week. So it's not been a great week for

:05:31.:05:33.

the Liberal Democrats and none of this will help public perceptions of

:05:34.:05:36.

a party already struggling in the polls. In a moment, I'll be talking

:05:37.:05:39.

to the second most senior Liberal Democrat in the land, Danny

:05:40.:05:42.

Alexander. First, Adam Fleming went to Glasgow to find out what voters

:05:43.:05:45.

there made of the party. Let's put the Lib Dems under the

:05:46.:05:48.

microscope in Glasgow. We have recruited some Glaswegians who have

:05:49.:05:51.

voted for them, and some who have not. Hello, John. Let's get started.

:05:52.:05:56.

I will be watching them through the one-way mirror, along with the

:05:57.:05:59.

former Liberal Democrat MP John Barrett. Let's get to the heart of

:06:00.:06:02.

the matter straightaway. If the Lib Dems were a biscuit, what would they

:06:03.:06:06.

be? Tunnock's Teacake. Hard on the outside but soft in the middle. They

:06:07.:06:12.

give in. There is no strength of character there. They just give in

:06:13.:06:20.

to whoever. Ouch. Rich Tea. A bit bland and boring. Melts and crumbles

:06:21.:06:29.

under any sort of heat and pressure. Morrison's own brand of biscuit, not

:06:30.:06:33.

top of the range like Marks Spencer or Sainsbury's or Waitrose.

:06:34.:06:35.

A custard cream, sandwiched between David Cameron and the Tories. I

:06:36.:06:45.

think they were concerned that they had one exterior, but something else

:06:46.:06:49.

was really inside. They did not find it too definitive, too clear, too

:06:50.:06:52.

concise, too tasty, too appealing. Which means? It is a worry. If that

:06:53.:07:01.

is their gut reaction, literally, let's find out what is behind it.

:07:02.:07:06.

The context of them being stuck between a rock and a hard place, for

:07:07.:07:10.

them as a party, I feel slightly sorry for them. I think people who

:07:11.:07:17.

voted for them will think they are victims as well, being sold down the

:07:18.:07:22.

river by going to the coalition. I think the ones, particularly student

:07:23.:07:25.

fees, that was an important one to a lot of people. People felt cheated.

:07:26.:07:32.

I agree. Just going back on that, so publicly and openly, it makes you

:07:33.:07:36.

think, well, what do they stand for? It is trust. Harsh. But our group is

:07:37.:07:44.

feeling quite upbeat about the state of the economy. What have the Lib

:07:45.:07:48.

Dems contributed to that? I am not quite sure. It is George Osborne, a

:07:49.:07:54.

Conservative, who is the Chancellor, so it is mostly down to him. The

:07:55.:08:00.

Liberal Democrats are mostly on their coat tails, if you know what I

:08:01.:08:04.

mean. Have the Lib Dems done anything, anyone? I think the

:08:05.:08:08.

Liberal Democrats were responsible for increasing the tax allowance,

:08:09.:08:12.

?10,000 for next year. I think they have played a major role in that.

:08:13.:08:17.

Yes. I am glad somebody noticed that. We will have helped everyone

:08:18.:08:24.

who is receiving a salary, and it is interesting that nobody has

:08:25.:08:32.

mentioned that. Now, let's talk about personalities. Everyone knows

:08:33.:08:42.

him, but what about say, this guy? Alexander. Danny, they got it

:08:43.:08:45.

straightaway. I actually quite like him. I think he talks very clearly

:08:46.:08:49.

and it is easy to understand what he says. Fellow redhead Charles Kennedy

:08:50.:08:56.

is popular as well. He is very charismatic and it is through him

:08:57.:09:00.

that I voted Liberal the last few times. But who is this? I recognise

:09:01.:09:07.

him but I cannot tell you his name. That is the party's leader in

:09:08.:09:10.

Scotland, Willie Rennie, and the party's role in the upcoming

:09:11.:09:12.

referendum on independence draws a blank as well. It does not feel like

:09:13.:09:16.

they have featured, it is SNP and Labour and Conservative. They are

:09:17.:09:34.

last in a four horse race. We have been talking about the biggest issue

:09:35.:09:37.

in Scottish politics, independence and the referendum and the Lib Dems

:09:38.:09:40.

are nowhere. They are not mentioned and they seem to think it is all

:09:41.:09:44.

about Labour and the SNP. The Lib Dems are part of the Better Together

:09:45.:09:47.

campaign and we are being drowned out among that. Looking to the

:09:48.:09:50.

future, what messages do voters have for the Lib Dems? Get a backbone. Do

:09:51.:09:56.

not go back on your policies or your word. Be strong and decisive. If you

:09:57.:10:03.

will pardon the expression, man up. DIY, do it yourself. Do not award

:10:04.:10:09.

bankers and other people for failure. Stand up. Be your own

:10:10.:10:18.

person, party. If that focus group represented the whole country, what

:10:19.:10:21.

would the result for the Lib Dems be at 2015 in the election? If they get

:10:22.:10:26.

the message across between now and then, the result could be OK. If

:10:27.:10:31.

they do not get the message across, the result could be disaster. Maybe

:10:32.:10:35.

they would do a lot better on their own. I do not think you are seeing

:10:36.:10:42.

the true Lib Dems because they are in the coalition. They maybe deserve

:10:43.:10:45.

another chance. Crucially for the Lib Dems, that means there is some

:10:46.:10:49.

hope, but there is also plenty of anger, some disappoint, and a bit of

:10:50.:10:58.

bafflement as well. And watching that with me, senior

:10:59.:11:01.

Liberal Democrat and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander.

:11:02.:11:06.

Welcome to the programme. One of the things that comes through from the

:11:07.:11:11.

focus group is that if there is any credit around for the economic

:11:12.:11:15.

recovery, it is the Tories that are getting it, and you are not? What

:11:16.:11:21.

can you do about that? The first thing to say is that the economy

:11:22.:11:25.

would not be recovering if it was not for the Liberal Democrats. If it

:11:26.:11:29.

was not for our decision right beginning in 2010 to form a strong,

:11:30.:11:33.

stable coalition government that to deal with the problems, we would

:11:34.:11:37.

still be in the mess that Labour left us with. Why are you not

:11:38.:11:43.

getting the credit? That was one focus group. It was interesting to

:11:44.:11:51.

hear opinions. We have to work very hard to get across the message that

:11:52.:11:54.

the economy would not be recovering without the Liberal Democrats.

:11:55.:11:59.

People would not be seeing the largest income tax cuts for a

:12:00.:12:01.

generation without the Liberal Democrats. The ?10,000 threshold

:12:02.:12:07.

that one of the people referred to is coming into peoples pay packets

:12:08.:12:11.

this year. Lots of people recognise that. There was the one person in

:12:12.:12:20.

the focus groups. This is your measure of success, raising the

:12:21.:12:23.

people at which people pay income tax. But most of the voters do not

:12:24.:12:27.

even give you credit for that. The role that we haven't British

:12:28.:12:33.

politics as a party, is that we are the only party that can be trusted

:12:34.:12:37.

to deliver a fair society and a strong economy. People know they

:12:38.:12:42.

cannot trust the Labour Party. We saw it again from Ed Miliband this

:12:43.:12:46.

morning. You cannot trust the Labour Party with the nation's finances. It

:12:47.:12:56.

may well be your policy, the income tax threshold, but it is the Tories

:12:57.:13:00.

that are getting the credit? I do not think that is true. I have spent

:13:01.:13:05.

lots of time meeting photos and lots of people recognise that if it was

:13:06.:13:08.

not for the Liberal Democrats, people would not be seeing those tax

:13:09.:13:13.

cuts. We are helping disadvantaged children in schools. It is right

:13:14.:13:18.

that we have to work very hard between now and polling day to do

:13:19.:13:22.

several things, to make sure that we secure the recovery, there can be no

:13:23.:13:27.

complacency. The economic recovery is in its early stages and we need

:13:28.:13:31.

to make sure it is sustainable. We need to make sure the benefits of

:13:32.:13:36.

the recovery are shared out people who have made sacrifices, people on

:13:37.:13:40.

low pay, people who have seen their savings are eroded. The Tories have

:13:41.:13:47.

now hijacked another Lib Dem policy, another big hike in the

:13:48.:13:50.

minimum wage. You spoke about the need to make sure that people on low

:13:51.:13:55.

pay benefit from the recovery, a big hike in the minimum wage. Did the

:13:56.:14:01.

Chancellor consulting on this? We have been talking about it for some

:14:02.:14:06.

time. Vince Cable asked the low pay commission for advice on this. Why

:14:07.:14:11.

did Vince Cable not make this announcement, why was it the

:14:12.:14:16.

Chancellor? Let me say a few other things about this. If we are going

:14:17.:14:20.

to secure the recovery, this year we have to make sure that businesses

:14:21.:14:24.

start investing. We have got to get Roddick typically rising. An

:14:25.:14:29.

increase in the minimum wage is something that needs to follow that.

:14:30.:14:34.

We will not do it unless the low pay commission adviser as it is

:14:35.:14:36.

important for the economy at this stage. Did you know the Chancellor

:14:37.:14:43.

was coming out with that statement? I did not know he was going to say

:14:44.:14:46.

something on that particular day. We have worked together on it in the

:14:47.:14:52.

tragedy to see what the economic impact would be, and to emphasise

:14:53.:14:57.

that it is the commission, which has credibility with business, trade

:14:58.:15:02.

unions and government. It must not be a politically motivated increase.

:15:03.:15:07.

So you did not know, and Vince Cable, and it is properly a matter

:15:08.:15:11.

for him as the Business Secretary, he did not make the announcement? I

:15:12.:15:20.

don't think that's right. I don't clear every word I say with him, I

:15:21.:15:26.

don't expect him to do the same to me. The Lib Dems have told us before

:15:27.:15:34.

it was the Treasury that was blocking this from happening. We

:15:35.:15:40.

were going to ask the low pay commission to advise us on bringing

:15:41.:15:45.

the minimum wage back up. During the financial crisis, wages have been

:15:46.:15:50.

lower-than-expected but it's also right, we shouldn't act in a hasty

:15:51.:15:59.

way, we should listen to what the commission has to say, and if they

:16:00.:16:04.

don't recommend an increase we have to make sure economic conditions are

:16:05.:16:10.

there to get it right. Not only are the Tories getting credit for that,

:16:11.:16:14.

our Scottish voters group showed that people have still not forgiven

:16:15.:16:19.

you for ratting on tuition fees, and that was a broken promise that

:16:20.:16:23.

didn't even apply to the people in Scotland, where there are no tuition

:16:24.:16:29.

fees! Nick Clegg has been very clear about the issues that that brought

:16:30.:16:37.

up. If you look at our manifesto, the University of London said we

:16:38.:16:42.

delivered about 70% of our policies in the manifesto. They haven't

:16:43.:16:47.

forgiven you for the big one. The big promise we made was to cut

:16:48.:16:56.

income tax the millions of people. That is a policy which is putting

:16:57.:17:03.

money back into the pockets of working people. It is only possible

:17:04.:17:07.

because we are delivering our economic plan in government with the

:17:08.:17:11.

Conservatives. Now we have to make sure, through tax cuts, through

:17:12.:17:18.

looking at issues like the minimum wage and other groups who have made

:17:19.:17:21.

sacrifices, make sure that benefit is shared. I am not going to agree

:17:22.:17:28.

to anything which undermines the confidence of businesses to invest

:17:29.:17:32.

in this country over the next 12 months. Speaking of Scotland, the

:17:33.:17:41.

Lib Dems, why do they now look largely irrelevant in the battle for

:17:42.:17:45.

the union? Not one of our focus group even knew who your Scottish

:17:46.:17:51.

leader is. I don't accept that. I have spent a lot of time with

:17:52.:17:58.

Alistair Carmichael and others, we are all making the case every day.

:17:59.:18:05.

If Scotland votes to be independent, it will be in a much worse financial

:18:06.:18:09.

position within the European Union. Scotland will be contributing to the

:18:10.:18:16.

rebate for the UK, rather than benefiting from it. It has been a

:18:17.:18:21.

disaster for your Scottish based to have joined a coalition with the

:18:22.:18:26.

Tories. It may have been the right thing to do, you say it is in the

:18:27.:18:30.

national interest, but Scottish Lib Dems did not expect to be in a

:18:31.:18:36.

coalition with the Tories. By the way I think it is also in the

:18:37.:18:39.

national interests and the interests of the people for Scotland, cutting

:18:40.:18:46.

the income tax of Scottish people, stabilising the economy. We are now

:18:47.:18:52.

seeing good growth. But you are in meltdown. I don't accept that. We

:18:53.:18:59.

will see what happens in the 2015 election. I think we have a record

:19:00.:19:05.

to be proud of, we have played a very important role in clearing up

:19:06.:19:09.

the mess Labour made in the economy, of making sure the

:19:10.:19:12.

Coalition government tackles the problems in this country, but does

:19:13.:19:19.

so in a fair way. I think the biggest risks to the economic

:19:20.:19:23.

recovery over the next few years is either a majority Labour government

:19:24.:19:27.

or a majority Conservative government. Labour you cannot trust

:19:28.:19:32.

with the finances, the Tories want us to play chicken with the European

:19:33.:19:36.

Union which would truly be a disaster to investment in this

:19:37.:19:40.

country. You announced this week that if Scotland votes to leave the

:19:41.:19:45.

UK, it would be the British Treasury that would guarantee all British

:19:46.:19:51.

government debt. There wouldn't be a negotiation, but the backstop would

:19:52.:19:54.

be that even if they didn't take anything, we would still guarantee

:19:55.:19:59.

the debt. What was happening in the markets that you needed to calm them

:20:00.:20:04.

down? We were getting quite a few questions from the people we rely on

:20:05.:20:10.

to lend us money. We are still borrowing billions of pounds every

:20:11.:20:15.

month as a country. Those people were asking us to clarify this

:20:16.:20:26.

point. It was becoming a serious concern? It wasn't reflected in the

:20:27.:20:33.

guilty yields. I follow the bond market quite carefully and there was

:20:34.:20:38.

no sign this was having an impact. That's why the right thing to do was

:20:39.:20:44.

to clarify this point now, rather than the concerns being reflected in

:20:45.:20:49.

what you imply, and I think it is a bad idea for Scotland to vote for

:20:50.:20:53.

separation but it would be wrong to allow for the fact that question is

:20:54.:20:57.

on the table to cost taxpayers in the UK more money and higher

:20:58.:21:00.

interest payments simply because Alex Salmond has put that question

:21:01.:21:05.

on the table. That's why I think it was the right thing to do. There

:21:06.:21:10.

were a lot of calls from the focus group that you need to be different.

:21:11.:21:16.

Nick Clegg has embarked on this aggressive differentiation. Where

:21:17.:21:20.

you can be different is the bankers' bonuses. What conceivable

:21:21.:21:25.

reason could there be for anybody at RBS getting a bonus twice in their

:21:26.:21:33.

salary? We have not been approached by RBS in terms of those votes. I

:21:34.:21:39.

would be sceptical about an approach from RBS if it can. It shows what we

:21:40.:21:45.

have presided over as a party in government, massive reductions...

:21:46.:21:54.

I'm not asking you about that, I'm asking what conceivable case there

:21:55.:22:03.

can be for a bank that has failed to sell its branches even though

:22:04.:22:06.

ordered by the Government, still has 38 billion of toxic debt on its

:22:07.:22:12.

balance sheet, I ask again what possible reason should they get

:22:13.:22:17.

twice salary as a bonus? Your right to say RBS is in a very different

:22:18.:22:27.

position to other banks, it is mostly owned by the state. RBS

:22:28.:22:32.

hasn't put a case to us but they might do so I would like to look at

:22:33.:22:36.

what they would say, but I would be sceptical as to whether a case could

:22:37.:22:39.

be made given some of the things you said, but also the fact that it is a

:22:40.:22:44.

bank that has benefited from the taxpayer standing behind it. Now RBS

:22:45.:22:51.

has to focus more on domestic retail. Let me turn to Chris

:22:52.:22:56.

Rennard, ten women have accused him of sexual harassment. He denies

:22:57.:23:02.

every case. Who do you believe? We have been through a process on this

:23:03.:23:08.

as a party. A report has been issued on this. I agree with Alistair

:23:09.:23:17.

Webster on this, he has made clear that while he cannot prove what

:23:18.:23:21.

happened to a criminal standard, that there is clear there has been

:23:22.:23:26.

considerable distress and harm caused. I agree with him about that

:23:27.:23:31.

and that's why it is necessary for Chris Rennard to apologise as he has

:23:32.:23:40.

been asked to do. If he refuses to apologise, should he be denied the

:23:41.:23:46.

Lib Dem whip in the Lords? I don't think he should be readmitted to the

:23:47.:23:49.

Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords until such time as the

:23:50.:23:54.

disciplinary process, including the apology, has been done properly. We

:23:55.:24:00.

are very democratic party, it is a matter for our group in the House of

:24:01.:24:03.

Lords in due course to make that judgement. Party HQ has had a lot of

:24:04.:24:09.

complaints from party members about the fact no apology has been made.

:24:10.:24:13.

The appropriate committee would need to look at that and decide what

:24:14.:24:17.

action needs to be taken because these are very serious matters. We

:24:18.:24:24.

as a party have learned a lot, taken a long, hard look at ourselves, to

:24:25.:24:30.

change the way we work. The apology does need to be made. We are told

:24:31.:24:37.

that Lord Newby, the Chief Whip of the Liberal Democrats in the House

:24:38.:24:40.

of Lords, we are told he has shaken hands with Chris Rennard and

:24:41.:24:45.

welcomed him back. That decision has not been taken yet. I think Lord

:24:46.:24:53.

Newby would share my view on this. Have you shaken his hand and

:24:54.:25:01.

welcomed him back? No, I haven't. Does Nick Clegg have the power to

:25:02.:25:07.

deny Chris Rennard as the whip? I am making it clear that a lack of

:25:08.:25:12.

apology is totally unacceptable, and therefore we have to take steps if

:25:13.:25:17.

that is not forthcoming. His view and my view is that Lord Rennard

:25:18.:25:23.

should not be readmitted to the House of Lords if that is not

:25:24.:25:30.

forthcoming. In our party, our group in the House of Lords has two in the

:25:31.:25:37.

end take a view for itself. And they can override Nick Clegg's view? I

:25:38.:25:44.

hope that when they look at this... Do they have the power to override

:25:45.:25:51.

Nick Clegg? They have the power to decide who should be the whip. The

:25:52.:26:00.

failure to follow up the simple human demand for an apology for the

:26:01.:26:07.

stress that has been caused is totally unacceptable. Your party is

:26:08.:26:18.

totally down lighted on this -- divided on this. Here is what Lord

:26:19.:26:28.

Carlile had to say. A total nonsense, hyperbole. It is a

:26:29.:26:35.

ridiculous statement to make and we have seen Alistair Webster, the QC

:26:36.:26:39.

who did this investigation, comment on that himself this morning. He has

:26:40.:26:43.

followed the process the party laid down in its rules, which sets the

:26:44.:26:48.

standard for the investigation which asked him to report on the evidence

:26:49.:26:53.

he has found, but he also has a duty of confidentiality and

:26:54.:27:00.

responsibility under the data protection legislation as well. Here

:27:01.:27:05.

is what your activists have said in a letter to the Guardian. This shows

:27:06.:27:17.

there are strong opinions, but why should Chris Rennard apologise for

:27:18.:27:23.

something he denies, unproven allegations, on an unpublished

:27:24.:27:28.

report that Chris Rennard has not been allowed to read? He should

:27:29.:27:31.

apologise because he wants to continue to be a member of the

:27:32.:27:35.

Liberal Democrats and this is the recommendation that has been made by

:27:36.:27:41.

the internal disciplinary process. Webster himself said this was not an

:27:42.:27:47.

inquiry, it is an opinion. If Chris Rennard apologises on this basis, he

:27:48.:27:53.

opens himself to civil lawsuits. He says he is not going to do it. As a

:27:54.:27:59.

Liberal Democrat you join the party because you believe in its values,

:28:00.:28:04.

you abide by its rules. One of those rules is that we have a process if

:28:05.:28:10.

there are disciplinary allegations. The committee of the party supported

:28:11.:28:16.

Webster's recommendations, one of which was that an apology should be

:28:17.:28:19.

made because he clearly found distress had been caused. Will there

:28:20.:28:27.

now be a proper inquiry? I don't think any of these legalistic

:28:28.:28:37.

things, I don't think he can have it both ways. Will there be a proper

:28:38.:28:45.

inquiry? Alistair Webster did do a proper inquiry. There was a proper

:28:46.:28:49.

report into what happened at the time and we have learned a lot from

:28:50.:28:52.

this is a party, and the most important thing now is that Chris

:28:53.:28:58.

Rennard apologises. You have made that clear. What kind of biscuits

:28:59.:29:09.

are you? Are you a Tunnocks? Soft on the inside? It is good of you to be

:29:10.:29:16.

advertising a Scottish product. We just wondered if you weren't tough

:29:17.:29:21.

enough to take on Ed Balls. Thank you. More than tough enough is the

:29:22.:29:40.

answer to that. Generally governments are a bit

:29:41.:29:43.

rubbish at IT projects. They tend to run way over budget and never quite

:29:44.:29:46.

achieve what they promised. So the revelations of a former spy that the

:29:47.:29:49.

US and British security agencies were in fact astonishingly efficient

:29:50.:29:52.

at eavesdropping on the digital communications of their citizens

:29:53.:29:55.

came as a bit shock. But just how worried should we be about their

:29:56.:29:57.

clandestine activity? In his latest revelation, former US

:29:58.:29:59.

by Edward Snowden has claimed that America's National Security Agency

:30:00.:30:01.

operates a secret database called Dishfire. It collect 200 million

:30:02.:30:07.

mobile phone messages every day from around the world, accessed, he says,

:30:08.:30:13.

why British and American spies. This week, the president has outlined a

:30:14.:30:17.

series of surveillance reforms, including Ning to the storage of the

:30:18.:30:21.

phone call information of millions of Americans, and no Morse -- and no

:30:22.:30:28.

more spying on allies like Angela Merkel. Critics say that the British

:30:29.:30:38.

intelligence agencies have refused to acknowledge even the need for a

:30:39.:30:42.

debate on the issue. The Foreign Secretary William six says that we

:30:43.:30:46.

have a very strong system of checks and balances. -- William Hague. ??

:30:47.:30:53.

new line Nick Pickles is director of the pressure group Big Brother

:30:54.:30:57.

Watch. The Labour MP Hazel Blears in on Parliament's Intelligence And

:30:58.:30:59.

Security Committee. They're here to go head to head.

:31:00.:31:10.

Welcome to both of you. Hazel Blears, let me come to you first.

:31:11.:31:15.

President Obama has made some major changes as a result of what we have

:31:16.:31:18.

learned that the NSA in America was up to. But British politicians seem

:31:19.:31:25.

to, they are not up for this kind of thing, they are hoping it will go

:31:26.:31:30.

away? It is not going away and that is why my committee, the

:31:31.:31:34.

Intelligence And Security Committee, has decided to launch an enquiry

:31:35.:31:37.

into whether the legal framework is up-to-date. We have had massive

:31:38.:31:45.

technological change. We have had a call for evidence. Some of the

:31:46.:31:51.

sessions will be open so that people can see what the evidence is.

:31:52.:31:55.

Obviously some of the information will have to be classified, but on

:31:56.:31:59.

the committee, there is a real commitment to say, there is a big

:32:00.:32:03.

debate going on, let's see if the system is as Rob asked as we can

:32:04.:32:08.

make it. The big question is oversight and the call for evidence

:32:09.:32:11.

that the committee has issued is not mention oversight. It is ten years

:32:12.:32:15.

since the Foreign Affairs Committee said that the committee should be a

:32:16.:32:23.

fully elected committee chosen by Parliament and not the Prime

:32:24.:32:30.

Minister. It has changed, actually. The Prime Minister nominates people

:32:31.:32:34.

and the house gets to him -- gets to approve. In America, they have a

:32:35.:32:42.

separation of power, the president does not nominate Kennedy.

:32:43.:32:50.

Basically, Hazel Blears, you're an establishment lackey? I do not think

:32:51.:32:55.

so. Most of the people on the committee have some experience of

:32:56.:32:59.

intelligence and these issues. In this country, we have robust

:33:00.:33:03.

scrutiny, compared to some of her European neighbours. We have

:33:04.:33:07.

Parliamentary scrutiny, the interception commissioners, and

:33:08.:33:13.

ministers have to sign the warrants. But there may be room for

:33:14.:33:17.

improvement, which is why we are having the enquiry. Do not forget,

:33:18.:33:23.

President Obama said that the agency should not have the ability to

:33:24.:33:27.

collect data, he wanted to put more safeguards in. That is essential for

:33:28.:33:32.

the work of the agencies. If you cannot see the data, you cannot take

:33:33.:33:35.

the connections and see the patterns. Some people never talk

:33:36.:33:40.

about the threat from terrorism, it is all about travesty. There are

:33:41.:33:45.

several thousand people in this country, as we are talking, who are

:33:46.:33:50.

actively planning to do a country harm. When this debate started in

:33:51.:33:56.

the US, the NSA head stood up and said there are 54 plots that have

:33:57.:34:00.

been detected by this capability that has detected and that in bulk.

:34:01.:34:07.

Now the head of the NSA has admitted that the number is actually zero. It

:34:08.:34:13.

is not the intelligence committee in the US that did the work to reduce

:34:14.:34:18.

that number, it was a Judiciary Committee. The fact that we have two

:34:19.:34:23.

different bodies doing this in this country, it means that you do not

:34:24.:34:29.

get the correct view. How can people have confidence in a body when if

:34:30.:34:33.

you go around Europe, for example, or the world, we are not at the end

:34:34.:34:39.

not requiring judges to not sign warrants? I do not accept that the

:34:40.:34:43.

committee failed on that range of issues. You look at the reports on

:34:44.:34:50.

7/7. Two reports by the committee get to the heart of it. If you look

:34:51.:34:54.

at that terrorist attack on our country, people will say, why did

:34:55.:35:00.

you not have them on the radar? The agencies are between a rock and a

:35:01.:35:05.

hard race. They have got to be subject to oversight, but beanie

:35:06.:35:10.

capability. Did you know about Dishfire? We go to GCHQ on a regular

:35:11.:35:17.

basis and I know about the capabilities that we have got. Some

:35:18.:35:22.

of the names of these programmes, we would not necessarily know. But did

:35:23.:35:29.

you know that GCHQ had the capability to use Dishfire, or to

:35:30.:35:34.

get Dishfire material from the NSA? I knew and my committee knew that we

:35:35.:35:40.

had the capability to collect data, and these days, people do not write

:35:41.:35:44.

letters, they do not use landline telephones, they use the Internet

:35:45.:35:50.

and text in, so it is important that the agencies are able to keep up

:35:51.:35:53.

with that take the logical change. What should happen? The proper legal

:35:54.:36:00.

framework should include, if a company is cooperating, as Google

:36:01.:36:05.

and Facebook do, it should be illegal for GCHQ to hack into them.

:36:06.:36:11.

In the US, Lundberg estimate that this has driven a 35mm and hole in

:36:12.:36:16.

the US economy because people do not trust but there are systems are

:36:17.:36:20.

secure. We need to know that GCHQ are not trying to use a different

:36:21.:36:25.

door into the system, whether by hacking or foreign intelligence. We

:36:26.:36:28.

need judicial oversight with judges and not politicians signing off. The

:36:29.:36:36.

final 30 seconds to you. As a result of the changes in the Justice and

:36:37.:36:41.

Security act, the committee is accountable to Parliament and not

:36:42.:36:45.

the Prime Minister. Those changes are taking place, and I am up for

:36:46.:36:48.

the debate if we need more change or not. But I want British agencies to

:36:49.:36:54.

have more power to protect the people in this country. Thank you to

:36:55.:36:59.

both of you. It's coming up to 11:40. You're watching the Sunday

:37:00.:37:02.

Politics. Coming up in just over 20 minutes, we'll get the verdict of

:37:03.:37:05.

the Minister for Portsmouth on that dive from the Portsmouth MP. Ouch!

:37:06.:37:27.

Hello, and welcome to Sunday Politics in Northern Ireland. I've

:37:28.:37:36.

been told by Unionist politicians that the UVF, the PUP Ali aren't

:37:37.:37:42.

order are effectively one and the same thing in the city of Belfast. I

:37:43.:37:49.

think it's very unhelpful at a critical stage for somebody to go

:37:50.:37:54.

out and take the pin out of the grenade. I think we need a more

:37:55.:38:00.

mature reflection on his part. I understand he is under pressure.

:38:01.:38:03.

This time last week, things were perfectly polite, if not exactly

:38:04.:38:06.

brimming over with positivity. Now it seems relationships between the

:38:07.:38:09.

DUP and Sinn Fein have hit rock bottom. With the five party leaders

:38:10.:38:13.

due to meet again on Tuesday, just how damaging is this latest war of

:38:14.:38:16.

words between the First and Deputy First Ministers? Joining me are

:38:17.:38:19.

David Ford, the Alliance Party leader, the Ulster Unionist leader,

:38:20.:38:22.

Mike Nesbitt, and the leader of the SDLP, Alasdair McDonnell.

:38:23.:38:25.

Plus, is it now time for the British and Irish governments to take

:38:26.:38:32.

control of the process? I think it is an intervention, I think it will

:38:33.:38:37.

be by both governments, and we are agreed this is something that both

:38:38.:38:41.

governments will work together on. Joining me to discuss that and more

:38:42.:38:44.

are Sheila Davidson and Steven McCaffery.

:38:45.:38:51.

It's almost three weeks since the Haass talks broke up without

:38:52.:38:54.

agreement. Despite that, the five main parties have continued to

:38:55.:38:57.

discuss the potential for progress on the proposals. But has the row

:38:58.:39:02.

between the DUP and Sinn Fein over comments made by the Deputy First

:39:03.:39:05.

Minister cast doubt over any possible agreement? The leaders of

:39:06.:39:13.

the three other parties are with me. You are all very welcome. Alistair

:39:14.:39:18.

MacDonald, was Martin McGuinness right with what he said on Thursday

:39:19.:39:24.

that the PUP, UVF and Orange Order are effectively the same? In my view

:39:25.:39:30.

it was unhelpful. We are the delicate lace and there may be an

:39:31.:39:37.

overlap but it was unhelpful to say it. Was it wrong? It was unhelpful.

:39:38.:39:49.

There is overlap at times between some organisations as far as I know,

:39:50.:39:55.

and may be more significant than elsewhere but it has not contributed

:39:56.:40:00.

to the peace we are looking for here, which is moving forward, all

:40:01.:40:04.

those negotiations over a number of months, progress has been made for

:40:05.:40:14.

some return on that progress, we have to do whatever at party

:40:15.:40:21.

political interests, we need to push this on towards implementation of

:40:22.:40:24.

what has been agreed towards legislation where possible and

:40:25.:40:29.

ultimately towards resolution of outstanding issues. People want hope

:40:30.:40:37.

and prosperity and this instability means prosperity is difficult. And

:40:38.:40:42.

the Orange Order and wider Unionist family have denied Martin

:40:43.:40:46.

McGuinness's allegations. David Ford, any truth to you, the ring of

:40:47.:40:56.

truth in what he said? He was talking about the issue of

:40:57.:40:59.

membership which I am not sure it's relevant. What concerns me, when the

:41:00.:41:05.

Department of Justice had a delegation from the camp at Twaddell

:41:06.:41:08.

Avenue, he brought with a representative of the PUP and the

:41:09.:41:14.

DUP and Ulster Unionists, and what worries me is that tie up similar to

:41:15.:41:20.

the Unionist forum suggesting all Unison is together around

:41:21.:41:25.

contentious issues, when it seems to me the aren't men I know in Antrim

:41:26.:41:32.

see things differently. Martin McGuinness talked about that

:41:33.:41:35.

triangular relationship being the case in Belfast specifically, not

:41:36.:41:41.

Antrim. I accept that but it worries me to see those giving batting too

:41:42.:41:46.

difficult elements within North and East Belfast. Might Nesbitt, your

:41:47.:41:52.

party used to use the phrase inextricably linked referring to

:41:53.:41:58.

Sinn Fein and the IRA. The PUP and UVF are in extra be linked, the

:41:59.:42:01.

aren't order supports Twaddell Avenue, so does the PUP. You can see

:42:02.:42:09.

how Martin McGuinness can connect the dots and put forward that

:42:10.:42:15.

explanation. The UUP has members in Belfast who are members of the

:42:16.:42:19.

Orange Order. They are not in the UVF or the PUP. We support human

:42:20.:42:25.

rights and it is extraordinary the Justice Minister seems to have a

:42:26.:42:29.

problem with political parties supporting human rights, which is

:42:30.:42:34.

what Twaddell Avenue is about, and Dr Haass accepted that. The question

:42:35.:42:39.

from me to Martin McGuinness is why he did that become a because on

:42:40.:42:44.

Tuesday when he left the room, it was agreed that if anybody would do

:42:45.:42:49.

any media, they would keep it short a realistic and positive and

:42:50.:42:53.

concentrate on the fact we were meeting again. But he clearly came

:42:54.:43:00.

on with the view he wanted to put forward on Thursday. He said that

:43:01.:43:06.

four times. And it is an unsubstantiated rumour. If I said

:43:07.:43:11.

leading Republicans said Martin McGuinness were still in the IRA,

:43:12.:43:15.

the media would not be dancing to my tune. People would not go to him or

:43:16.:43:23.

Gerry Kelly and asked, are you the guy who told Mike Nesbitt Martin

:43:24.:43:27.

McGuinness were still in the IRA? This is unsubstantiated and it is

:43:28.:43:32.

not professional or helpful. It is damaging. Why do you think you did

:43:33.:43:37.

it? He must have known people would be uncomfortable. I have no idea,

:43:38.:43:45.

but I will ask. We are at where we are at, and we have a chance here of

:43:46.:43:50.

doing a final lap around an agreement, the Good Friday Agreement

:43:51.:43:55.

got us 90% of the way but there are still some difficult issues that

:43:56.:43:59.

need to be resolved. Richard Haass has brought us a long wait towards

:44:00.:44:04.

resolution. We now know what the issues are, the cards are all face

:44:05.:44:08.

up on the table. We don't need more torque, we need resolution and

:44:09.:44:16.

decisions. I think people imagine it matters because the relationship

:44:17.:44:19.

between the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, the leaders

:44:20.:44:23.

of the two main parties, appear at an all-time low. Martin McGuinness

:44:24.:44:29.

was not tricked into saying this, he clearly wanted to see it, and then

:44:30.:44:34.

Robinson clearly and explicitly rebut that. Who is at 1:30am on

:44:35.:44:42.

Friday morning so that relationship is critical. I think it is party

:44:43.:44:49.

politics and that is shaping up towards an election. I understand it

:44:50.:44:56.

suggested marking was a dictator. That needle is very destructive

:44:57.:45:01.

inserts of situations. David Ford, it did possibly about both sides

:45:02.:45:06.

preparing an election strategy in the knowledge this is going

:45:07.:45:11.

nowhere? That may or may not be the case. I think the next meeting will

:45:12.:45:15.

show if there is any chance of progress. People will find it

:45:16.:45:21.

outrageous that after the effort put in by the team, and representatives,

:45:22.:45:28.

the idea that the plug could be pulled when we have effectively

:45:29.:45:32.

dealt with the majority of issues and there are real moral issues

:45:33.:45:38.

about meeting the needs of victims, the idea we would pull the plug on

:45:39.:45:43.

that and go nowhere for electoral purposes is pretty cynical. Might

:45:44.:45:48.

Nesbitt, would you agree? I want a fairer deal across the issues of

:45:49.:45:54.

parades and the past but Martin McGuinness has not made any easier

:45:55.:45:58.

when he talks about St Patrick's Day being a deadline as if America is

:45:59.:46:03.

trying to force something. The US consul said America cannot set a

:46:04.:46:09.

deadline. It isn't formally setting a deadline, but he said he had a

:46:10.:46:13.

sense America would like to see it wrapped up by Saint Patrick 's Day.

:46:14.:46:18.

We would like to see it wrapped up tomorrow if possible, nor is it

:46:19.:46:25.

helpful for Eamon Gilmore to say what you have just shown him saying.

:46:26.:46:30.

He has acknowledged that flags and parades are effectively strand one

:46:31.:46:35.

issues that are in turn will to the bus back to the affairs of Northern

:46:36.:46:40.

Ireland's and it is not useful for Eamon Gilmore to make that sort of

:46:41.:46:43.

statement. We will hear from him shortly. He made that comment in the

:46:44.:46:49.

wider context of trying to get the whole process to move forward. I

:46:50.:46:56.

will listen carefully to the interview that Yediot the Republic

:46:57.:47:03.

has a role in flags and parades is not true, it is up to the five

:47:04.:47:07.

parties to sort this out. But does he have a role in the whole process

:47:08.:47:12.

to move it forward Chris the Irish Republic has a lot of answers to

:47:13.:47:18.

bring forward in terms of dealing with the past in terms of collusion

:47:19.:47:22.

and the rest. Alistair MacDonald, how do we move forward Chris like is

:47:23.:47:27.

it up to the two governments. The five parties are struggling, we have

:47:28.:47:32.

not been able to get an agreement which should have been made before

:47:33.:47:35.

New Year's Eve, and if it is not possible to do locally, we need the

:47:36.:47:41.

help of two governments and a bit of persuasion to get over the line. We

:47:42.:47:48.

are living in a big brought world out there, the public demand is for

:47:49.:47:54.

stability so we can help progress and children can have jobs and

:47:55.:47:59.

education. It is a simple equation. David Ford, do you agree it is up

:48:00.:48:03.

for the two governments to get in the driving seat? Lets see where we

:48:04.:48:11.

can get first of. The five main parties did not achieve what was

:48:12.:48:15.

needed. When we brought in the independent share, we made

:48:16.:48:19.

significant progress. If people are willing to go out in this week to

:48:20.:48:25.

identify how we made progress and how we look at the issues of parades

:48:26.:48:30.

and flags, because the agreement says we can't agree and we have to.

:48:31.:48:34.

If we get that, we don't need the outside help. Thank you for joining

:48:35.:48:40.

me on the programme. Let's hear what my guests think. Listening to that,

:48:41.:48:43.

the public relations executive Sheila Davidson and the journalist

:48:44.:48:47.

Steven McCaffery. Steven, has that conversation helped nudge us forward

:48:48.:48:54.

or taken us back with Mike? I am struck by the fact this conversation

:48:55.:48:58.

has been going on 18 months and everything that has happened in the

:48:59.:49:04.

intervening process was about putting politics in the driving

:49:05.:49:08.

seat, and it seems like politics is going into a drift which leaves us

:49:09.:49:13.

at the whim of events which is a dangerous place to be. Sheila, what

:49:14.:49:18.

do you make of this bat that happened between the ministers? It

:49:19.:49:24.

didn't look like an accident, it looked like Martin McGuinness wanted

:49:25.:49:29.

to get something off his chest. Everyone understands that party

:49:30.:49:32.

politicking in Northern Ireland is in process. People talk about

:49:33.:49:38.

Sunningdale being for slowly earners and I don't thing we have learned

:49:39.:49:43.

anything. This has been a constructive debate and I have

:49:44.:49:46.

enjoyed listening to the leaders, but that is the kind of debate we

:49:47.:49:51.

want to see in public. We don't want to see this sort of politicking. The

:49:52.:49:56.

electorate is still intelligent and we need to stop playing to the

:49:57.:50:00.

lowest common to nominate and understand there is a huge number of

:50:01.:50:05.

people in Northern Ireland. Steven has pointed this out recently. The

:50:06.:50:10.

divisions are getting lower and lower but there is still a lot of

:50:11.:50:14.

people not on the electoral register. The job of every

:50:15.:50:20.

politician is to get re-elected. What we need to do is understand we

:50:21.:50:23.

have a democratic part of this process. We need to vote and when we

:50:24.:50:29.

get onto the electoral register, we will give our politicians the

:50:30.:50:33.

mandate to speak sensibly, to speak in terms of what everyone wants and

:50:34.:50:36.

not late to the lowest common to dominate. Steven, what about the

:50:37.:50:43.

relationship between Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness? One way of

:50:44.:50:47.

looking at it is that the end of last week has done huge damage to

:50:48.:50:52.

the process and hasn't helped us at all. The other is that they have got

:50:53.:50:58.

off their chest, they have let off steam, said what they wanted to say,

:50:59.:51:02.

and going into Tuesday, it could be more productive. The worrying thing

:51:03.:51:08.

is that we are looking toward St Patrick's Day and help from the

:51:09.:51:12.

Americans, which is a positive thing, but a lot could happen before

:51:13.:51:18.

then. The more fundamental question is where are the British and Irish

:51:19.:51:21.

governments? They have been entirely absent, we are now 18 months into

:51:22.:51:26.

this crisis and I don't think the people of Dublin or London would be

:51:27.:51:30.

asked to put up with what the people of Belfast have over these

:51:31.:51:35.

governments with the two governments deciding what they may or may not

:51:36.:51:40.

do. We will come back to you both later on the programme. The Irish

:51:41.:51:45.

bluster for Foreign Affairs says if necessary there will be -- The Irish

:51:46.:51:50.

Minister for Foreign Affairs says if necessary, there will be joint

:51:51.:51:53.

intervention by the Irish and British governments to get the

:51:54.:51:56.

parties to agree a way forward on the Haass proposals.

:51:57.:51:58.

With relationships between Sinn Fein and the DUP at an all-time low, our

:51:59.:52:01.

political editor, Mark Devenport, asked Eamon Gilmore what he thinks

:52:02.:52:05.

is needed to get the parties to take the next step forward. I believe

:52:06.:52:08.

there is a responsibility on political leadership to respond to

:52:09.:52:11.

the wishes of the public that these issues are resolved and agreement is

:52:12.:52:14.

reached among the political parties to deal with these issues. Dr Haass

:52:15.:52:19.

and Doctor O Sullivan produced a fine draft on New Year's Eve. I

:52:20.:52:24.

hoped that would be accepted and that it would be and is a model, but

:52:25.:52:29.

I believe there is a responsibility on the political parties to reach an

:52:30.:52:33.

agreement on the way forward so Northern Ireland can progress and

:52:34.:52:38.

its people can engage in normal economic and business activity,

:52:39.:52:41.

create jobs and ensure the place prospers. Given that Unionists

:52:42.:52:47.

wouldn't agree to those final proposals, isn't it an inevitable

:52:48.:52:52.

they will have to be renegotiated? I don't think so. I think there is an

:52:53.:52:59.

issue over the next steps here. I am encouraged parties have met this

:53:00.:53:04.

week and will meet again next, and both the British and Irish

:53:05.:53:07.

governments are keeping in close contact with the political leaders

:53:08.:53:10.

and those discussions. We support and encourage them to try to reach

:53:11.:53:16.

an agreement. We are available to provide any help we can to them, and

:53:17.:53:21.

we will fulfil our obligations as co-directors of the agreements. But

:53:22.:53:25.

there haven't been pre-agreements where the governments were either at

:53:26.:53:31.

the table and able to administer a stick or wave a carrot in front of

:53:32.:53:36.

the parties. One good thing about this process is that it began in

:53:37.:53:41.

Northern Ireland among the parties, it was the ministers of the Northern

:53:42.:53:48.

Ireland Executive who invited Dr Haass and Doctor O Sullivan to

:53:49.:53:51.

charities talks. The two governments were guarantors, we have been in

:53:52.:53:56.

close contact with the parties and we have been in contact with Dr

:53:57.:54:05.

Haass as well. Why should the two parties be able to make progress on

:54:06.:54:10.

their own when they weren't able to make it with the assistance of Dr

:54:11.:54:16.

Haass? Political parties have a range of jurisdictions to make

:54:17.:54:20.

agreements. That is the process of politics, that is what needs to

:54:21.:54:25.

happen. The issues at stake are issues within Northern Ireland, the

:54:26.:54:28.

flanks protests takes place within Northern Ireland, the parades take

:54:29.:54:33.

place on the streets of Northern Ireland and the issues related to

:54:34.:54:37.

the past are mainly in Northern Ireland. There are responsibilities

:54:38.:54:41.

that both governments have relating to these issues and we will fulfil

:54:42.:54:48.

those, but the primary agreement must be among the political parties.

:54:49.:54:52.

They will have the support of the Irish government and I know from my

:54:53.:54:54.

discussions with Theresa Villiers that they will have the support of

:54:55.:55:00.

the British government. Theresa Villiers has offered to chair talks.

:55:01.:55:04.

Martin McGuinness says he does not favour that although Peter Robinson

:55:05.:55:09.

said he would favour it, so is there a role for both governments to make

:55:10.:55:15.

some joint intervention? I think if there is an intervention it will be

:55:16.:55:18.

an intervention by both elements together. We are agreed that this is

:55:19.:55:23.

something that both governments will work together on. If necessary we

:55:24.:55:27.

will have to do that, but I hope that it will be possible that the

:55:28.:55:30.

political parties in Northern Ireland will be able to reach

:55:31.:55:33.

agreement among themselves. I think that that's appropriate, because

:55:34.:55:36.

these are issues that have to be resolved in Northern Ireland. But

:55:37.:55:38.

the two governments are determined that we should not allow these

:55:39.:55:43.

issues to drift Tom I don't think there is a very long period of time

:55:44.:55:50.

within which this can continue. I think the rays urgency about getting

:55:51.:55:56.

these issues resolved and making sure 2014 is a year in which

:55:57.:55:59.

Northern Ireland moves forward. It has emerged that Joe Biden made a

:56:00.:56:06.

phone call to Peter Robinson to try to push towards agreement and Martin

:56:07.:56:09.

McGuinness is now talking about Saint Patrick 's Day as the next

:56:10.:56:15.

deadline. What do you believe is the real role now for the US? I know

:56:16.:56:22.

from our own discussions with the US administration and I have had the

:56:23.:56:28.

chance over the past period to discuss these issues with Vice

:56:29.:56:30.

President Biden and Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama, and

:56:31.:56:36.

we have kept in close contact through our embassy in Washington

:56:37.:56:40.

with the US administration and the US Embassy in Dublin has also kept

:56:41.:56:46.

in close contact with us. I know the US is interested to see this issue

:56:47.:56:50.

resolved and I think that is important because there is an issue

:56:51.:56:55.

of reputation, investment, the creation of jobs and all that goes

:56:56.:56:59.

with it depends on these issues being resolved and Northern Ireland

:57:00.:57:04.

being seen internationally as a good place to invest.

:57:05.:57:06.

The Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Eamon Gilmore,

:57:07.:57:09.

speaking to Mark Devenport. Sheila Davidson and they wouldn't -- and

:57:10.:57:16.

Steven McCaffery are still with me. It didn't look like he has a huge

:57:17.:57:19.

desire to get involved too quickly. It is up to local parties. I don't

:57:20.:57:26.

think either government has any agenda to get involved and that is

:57:27.:57:31.

probably right. I think it is time for our local parties to step up. We

:57:32.:57:37.

have been to endless processes and deadlines but now is the time for

:57:38.:57:41.

them to show what they are made of. Some of the biggest additions have

:57:42.:57:45.

already been made and we understand that, some of the biggest sacrifices

:57:46.:57:50.

have been made, and this is about getting us over the line and it

:57:51.:57:56.

shouldn't be a problem. There was talk of the Irish government being

:57:57.:58:00.

involved in Stroud one. I don't think we could accuse either

:58:01.:58:04.

government of rushing into anything. Earlier are reasonably is suggested

:58:05.:58:10.

getting involved with the Haass proposals -- Behar stalks, but for

:58:11.:58:16.

how long have we been waiting for in involvement and it still goes on.

:58:17.:58:21.

Let's pause and take a look back at the week in 60 seconds, with Gareth

:58:22.:58:27.

Gordon. Controversial views on his successor

:58:28.:58:33.

from the former DUP leader. It should not have been done. I think

:58:34.:58:38.

he thought there was going to be a tremendous uprising as a result of

:58:39.:58:47.

it. Peter Robinson begged to differ. If we are going to have interviews

:58:48.:58:50.

about the past, it is better to have them when they are fresh in people

:58:51.:58:55.

's minds. Martin McGuinness's claimed that progressive loyalism

:58:56.:59:01.

and the UVF or link did not go down well. The attempt to distract from

:59:02.:59:06.

the Sinn Fein's glorification of past terrorist crimes. He repeated

:59:07.:59:16.

the allegation. They rigged -- they agree with my analysis. In Belfast,

:59:17.:59:22.

the PUP, the UVF and the Orange Order are one and the same thing.

:59:23.:59:28.

And could the Teletubbies change attitudes in North Korea? They could

:59:29.:59:34.

according to MLA Jim Shannon. Just a final word. Steven, looking

:59:35.:59:40.

ahead to that pays the documentary, a lot of anticipation. He seems very

:59:41.:59:49.

focused on making it about Peter Robinson and the current DUP so we

:59:50.:59:52.

will have to see how that wrestling match works out. Worth watching?

:59:53.:59:59.

Yes, some insights into what happened and questions about what

:00:00.:00:03.

Ian Paisley said at his time at the departure and what he is saying now.

:00:04.:00:08.

Regardless of what people are saying about the rightness or wrongness of

:00:09.:00:11.

his recollections, getting them on record is well worth it. A lot of

:00:12.:00:15.

people say it is about rewriting history. History is always being

:00:16.:00:20.

rewritten and it is in houses being built by the mayor.

:00:21.:00:32.

Andrew, back to you. Welcome back. Now she made quite a splash last

:00:33.:00:37.

night. I am talking, of course, of the Portsmouth North MP, Penny

:00:38.:00:41.

Mordaunt. If you missed her first appearance in ITV's celebrity diving

:00:42.:00:44.

competition show, here she is in action.

:00:45.:00:59.

APPLAUSE Here is a lady who is more used to

:01:00.:01:16.

campaigning for votes than diving for them. She created far too much

:01:17.:01:22.

rotation. Hard work has gone into the start of this dive to try and

:01:23.:01:34.

control it. That looked painful. Now the Portsmouth North MP got voted

:01:35.:01:37.

off the show last night but what about the verdict that really

:01:38.:01:40.

matters? The newly appointed Minister for Portsmouth, Michael

:01:41.:01:43.

Fallon, is here. Welcome to the programme. I would give her ten out

:01:44.:01:50.

of ten for bravery. I was cheering her on. She was doing this for a

:01:51.:01:53.

local charity, raising money for the local swimming pool. She was a good

:01:54.:02:01.

sport. As Minister for Portsmouth, can we expect to see you in your

:02:02.:02:04.

swimming trunks for the next series? I do not think I have the

:02:05.:02:09.

spare time at the moment. But there is a big challenge in Portsmouth.

:02:10.:02:14.

Penny Mordaunt and the other local MPs there have been remorseless in

:02:15.:02:20.

asking ministers to help the city. They are losing jobs. There is a

:02:21.:02:27.

goblin Trinity -- there is a big opportunity to create jobs. Should

:02:28.:02:34.

she have been on a celebrity television show of their role these

:02:35.:02:37.

problems in Portsmouth? This was in her spare time and it is raising

:02:38.:02:43.

money for a good cause. I do not think we should eat two sniffy about

:02:44.:02:50.

it. Did I not see you dressed up on Thursday night, doing your

:02:51.:02:56.

programme? This is my job. This is not her job. It was in her spare

:02:57.:03:04.

time, she was raising money for a local charity. Your Minister for

:03:05.:03:12.

Portsmouth. Are we going to have a minister for every town? Are we

:03:13.:03:15.

going to have a minister for Chipping Sodbury? Chipping Sodbury

:03:16.:03:18.

does not have the issues that Portsmouth have -- that Portsmouth

:03:19.:03:26.

has. There are jobs at risk in shipbuilding. The government puts in

:03:27.:03:31.

a lot of money through the regional growth fund, some ?20 million. There

:03:32.:03:36.

are range of government funding streams going into Portsmouth. My

:03:37.:03:41.

job is to make sure that is properly coordinated. I need to make sure

:03:42.:03:46.

that Portsmouth seizes this opportunity to develop a more

:03:47.:03:49.

broadly -based marine and maritime economy. To make sure a marginal

:03:50.:03:53.

seat stays Tory at the next election? There are marginal seats

:03:54.:03:59.

everywhere. There is a Liberal Democrat marginal the -- seat. Vince

:04:00.:04:09.

Cable and I have been working together for the issues that

:04:10.:04:13.

Portsmouth is facing. We work on these things together. But I have

:04:14.:04:18.

the very specific job of making sure that the effort on the ground is

:04:19.:04:23.

coordinated. So Vince Cable is not the Minister for Portsmouth? I have

:04:24.:04:27.

been there recently, so has Vince Cable. So there are two ministers

:04:28.:04:35.

for Portsmouth? Just a minute. I am making sure that the effort is

:04:36.:04:39.

properly coordinated on the ground. I am determined to turn this

:04:40.:04:42.

challenging time into a proper opportunity. Should we be to Paul

:04:43.:04:50.

faced about this? No, good honour. How much money would be have to pay

:04:51.:04:54.

you to get into a swimming costume? Bid is not enough money in the BBC

:04:55.:05:01.

covers. Good on her. It took seven years to get a leg there's an MP.

:05:02.:05:07.

She should be a minister. It is a pity she has the spare time to do

:05:08.:05:11.

this. She is very talented. It is interesting about the Minister for

:05:12.:05:17.

Portsmouth, up in the north-east they must be sad that they do not

:05:18.:05:23.

have any marginal seats. Nick Brown as David Cameron last July, can we

:05:24.:05:26.

have a minister for the north-east, and the Prime Minister is said no?

:05:27.:05:32.

Does this mean that Portsmouth is more deprived economic late than the

:05:33.:05:39.

north-east? No, it means it is a marginal seat.

:05:40.:05:41.

The Labour Leader Ed Miliband was on the Andrew Marr programme this

:05:42.:05:44.

morning and he outlined plans under a Labour government for an annual

:05:45.:05:47.

competition audit. Here is what he had to say. The next Labour

:05:48.:05:49.

government will have an annual competition at it, not just done by

:05:50.:05:53.

the regulatory body. Alongside them will be the citizens advice bureau,

:05:54.:05:58.

setting the agenda for the future, setting the agenda for how we can

:05:59.:06:01.

ensure that competition will benefit consumers and businesses. I want to

:06:02.:06:07.

see Labour going into the next election as the party of

:06:08.:06:09.

competition, the party of the consumer, the party of hard-pressed

:06:10.:06:15.

working families who are struggling. They need somebody to deal with

:06:16.:06:19.

those issues and that is what the next Labour government will do. I

:06:20.:06:23.

thought you were meant to be the party of competition? We are the

:06:24.:06:29.

party of competition. This is the party that has given us some of

:06:30.:06:34.

these problems. We have an annual competition review in the energy

:06:35.:06:37.

sector. We have already tackling banking. What is interesting about

:06:38.:06:43.

his proposal is it is the smaller ones who are less sure about this,

:06:44.:06:47.

the smaller banks who think that this could inhibit the growth. It is

:06:48.:06:51.

the smaller energy companies who think that through interfering with

:06:52.:06:55.

the market, through his price freeze, that he will hinder

:06:56.:07:01.

competition. We spoke about this before. It is a clever pitch that Ed

:07:02.:07:07.

Miliband is making. Under the guise of token markets and claiming to be

:07:08.:07:12.

the party of competition, he is creating the reason for state

:07:13.:07:18.

intervention? -- broken markets. Exactly, and it is state

:07:19.:07:22.

intervention that does not work. There is a proud tradition in

:07:23.:07:30.

government of smashing open cartels. Teddy Roosevelt did it nearly a

:07:31.:07:34.

century ago. The problem is, in those situations it was clear and

:07:35.:07:37.

obvious that the consumers were suffering. I am not sure it is

:07:38.:07:44.

entirely obvious in this country. In the banking sector we have free

:07:45.:07:48.

current accounts in the high street. That is not true in all Western

:07:49.:07:53.

countries. In the energy sector, our bills are not outlandish they high.

:07:54.:07:56.

It is when we take taxes into account the become unaffordable. He

:07:57.:08:03.

has to make the case that consumers are suffering as a result of these

:08:04.:08:08.

monopolies. Ed Miliband would say it is not about state intervention, but

:08:09.:08:13.

about making markets work. The piece that was written by his intellectual

:08:14.:08:18.

Duryea about the significance and the importance of Teddy Roosevelt.

:08:19.:08:21.

He was the Republican president in the yearly -- in the early years of

:08:22.:08:28.

the last century. He wanted markets to work. There is an interesting

:08:29.:08:35.

debate on Twitter this morning. Tim Montgomerie is saying, why are we,

:08:36.:08:40.

the Conservative Party, not seen as the party of Teddy Roosevelt? We are

:08:41.:08:50.

seen as the party of business. There are smaller energy companies

:08:51.:08:54.

competing against the big six. In banking, we have seen smaller

:08:55.:08:59.

companies coming. It was the Labour government that created the big six

:09:00.:09:04.

energy companies. I think Teddy Roosevelt also invaded Cuba and the

:09:05.:09:09.

Philippines. That could give us a clue as to Ed Miliband's foreign

:09:10.:09:14.

policy. Nigel Farage has promised to purge the party of its more extreme

:09:15.:09:19.

candidates ahead of the European Council elections in May. But that

:09:20.:09:23.

may not be going so well. Listen to this. The latest in this process is

:09:24.:09:32.

these homosexual laws. And Thomas I shall manage. I believe that the

:09:33.:09:39.

Prime Minister, who was warned that disasters would follow a three went

:09:40.:09:45.

in this direction, he has persisted, and I believe that this is largely a

:09:46.:09:50.

repercussion from this godlessness that he has persisted in. The

:09:51.:09:56.

instructions I have got from now on, or is just not to answer in, and not

:09:57.:10:01.

to give interviews such as this one. So you are ignoring them? I am not

:10:02.:10:08.

ignoring them. But you are talking to me? You are the last one I shall

:10:09.:10:12.

be speaking to. I think it is too late. Who would have thought it? It

:10:13.:10:18.

is not global warming that is causing the floods, it is gay

:10:19.:10:24.

marriage? That explains it. Last year David Cameron offered a coded

:10:25.:10:28.

retraction of his statement that UKIP is full of fruit cakes. I think

:10:29.:10:33.

he will be tempted to retract the retraction. It is a warning to lots

:10:34.:10:38.

of Tories who think that their best interests are served by flirting

:10:39.:10:46.

with lace -- with UKIP. Nigel Farage is a very plausible guy, but several

:10:47.:10:49.

layers down, there are people who are very different. Nigel Farage is

:10:50.:10:55.

saying that he's going to clear the party out of what Mr Cameron called

:10:56.:11:00.

the fruitcakes. If he is true to his word, Mr Sylvester's days in the

:11:01.:11:05.

party should they numbered. If Nigel Farage falls under the bus, what is

:11:06.:11:15.

left of place -- what is left of UKIP? People say that they like UKIP

:11:16.:11:21.

because unlike other politicians, they speak their mind. But as it

:11:22.:11:27.

turns into more of a proper organisation, people speaking their

:11:28.:11:32.

mind will be less acceptable. The European elections are always a

:11:33.:11:36.

protest vote. People are not happy with the elite. You will get people

:11:37.:11:40.

saying utterly ridiculous things like that man in Henley-on-Thames.

:11:41.:11:47.

But this is a chance to vote against the entire political establishment.

:11:48.:11:49.

I am not sure that comments like that will make much of a difference.

:11:50.:11:58.

There are lots of arguments about climate change. That was certainly a

:11:59.:12:03.

new one! They are the only big protest party at the moment. Protest

:12:04.:12:08.

party is obviously hoovered up lots of votes. We have got to be clear in

:12:09.:12:13.

European message that we are the only party that can reform Europe

:12:14.:12:18.

and give people a proper choice, the first referendum in over 40 years.

:12:19.:12:23.

Mr Sylvester used to be a conservative. You're probably glad

:12:24.:12:28.

to see the back of him? David Cameron is right, there are probably

:12:29.:12:33.

a few fruitcakes around there. I think that mainstream conservatives

:12:34.:12:36.

will understand that this is the only party that can secure European

:12:37.:12:42.

reform and give people the choice they have been arguing for. Whatever

:12:43.:12:46.

happens in the European elections, it is a protest vote. We have almost

:12:47.:12:52.

run out of time. We will see this week of Chris

:12:53.:12:52.

run out of time. We will see this week of Chris Rennard gets the party

:12:53.:12:56.

whip act. There is a battle brewing between Danny Alexander and the

:12:57.:13:02.

common side of the Liberal Democrats and the House of Lords. If he turns

:13:03.:13:07.

up on Monday and asks to be let in, I they going to make a big scene at

:13:08.:13:14.

the gate of Parliament? And the issue will stay in the papers? Yes,

:13:15.:13:21.

they are clearly nervous that Lord Rennard might be tempted to mount a

:13:22.:13:29.

legal bid. That is all for today. Thanks to all my guests. The Daily

:13:30.:13:33.

Politics is back on Monday at midday on BBC Two. And I will be here again

:13:34.:13:37.

next week. Remember if it is Sunday, it is the Sunday Politics.

:13:38.:14:03.

shocking set of statistics. In some British South Asian communities,

:14:04.:14:06.

women carrying girl babies are more likely to terminate their

:14:07.:14:09.

pregnancies if they already have a daughter. In England and Wales, up

:14:10.:14:13.

to 4,700 females were lost in this way. Such is the pressure to deliver

:14:14.:14:16.

sons that these women preferred to have an abortion than face the

:14:17.:14:20.

consequence of disappointing their husband and his

:14:21.:14:21.

Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS